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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Pacific Rim
(Alaska, Hawaii)

By Allan Simpson
May 26, 2005

***** One for the books
**** Banner year
*** Solid, not spectacular
** Not up to par
* Nothing to see here
Just a few years ago, Hawaii produced a succession of early-round picks, ranging from Jerome Williams (Giants) in 1999, to Justin Wayne (Expos) and Dane Sardinha (Reds) in 2000, to Bronson Sardinha (Yankees) and Brandon League (Blue Jays) in 2001. But that well has gone dry the last two or three years and no one is likely to be picked in the first 10-12 rounds this year. The top Hawaiian pick will be Yavapai (Ariz.) Junior College draft-and-follow Milton Loo, a 17th-round pick of the Reds out of a Hawaii high school in 2004. Alaska is a non-entity, with Lower Columbia (Wash.) JC pitcher Ryan Shaver the player with an Alaska connection likely to be selected.

(National ranking in parentheses)
Potential First-Round Picks
Potential Second-Fifth Round Picks
Others Of Note
1. Colby Sumner, rhp, U. of Hawaii
2. Matt Inouye, of, U. of Hawaii
3. Jayson Kramer, rhp, Mid-Pacific Institute, Kanoehe
4. Kirby Yates, rhp, Kauai HS
5. Kasey Ko, 1b/3b, Punahou HS, Kailua

(Numbers in parentheses indicate rank in the Pacific Rim)

Six-foot-8 Hawaii junior RHP Colby Sumner (1) went unsigned after being drafted a year ago (Red Sox, 38th round) and ranks as the island’s best draft prospect this year, even though he missed all of 2004 with Tommy John surgery and went just 2-6, 5.61 in his bounce-back year. Sumner should throw much harder when he’s fully healthy, but he was mostly in the mid-80s this spring while occasionally touching 90.

OF Matt Inouye (2) had a poor year at the plate for Hawaii, batting .258-3-22, but could still be drafted by a team that wants to move him behind the plate. His arm would play well there, though he was tried at the position in 2004, didn’t do especially well and was returned to the outfield. His lack of speed limits his appeal everywhere else.

Five-foot-7 2B Isaac Omura was Hawaii’s best offensive player this year, leading the team by a wide margin in the three triple crown categories (.347-6-47). He also has excellent hands in the field, but scouts say he can’t run a lick—dooming his hopes of being anything more than a senior sign a year from now.

Scouts like RHP Jayson Kramer (3) as much as any high school player in the state because of a fastball that tops out at 91 mph, but he’s a potential signability risk who is committed to attending Hawaii. Aiea High SS Lance Powell might have been the best position prospect in Hawaii this year, but he broke his leg in the 2004 American Legion state tournament and has been slow to respond.

The most intriguing prep talent is RHP/SS Kirby Yates (4), brother of Mets pitching prospect Kyle Yates. Yates is 5-foot-10 but has tools that play beyond his size. He is a solid middle infielder and has a fastball that reaches 90 mph. Like Loo a year ago, he’s scheduled to attend Arizona’s Yavapai Junior College.